Matthew 28:16-20 (Part 1)- Always There Ahead of Us…

Posted: May 8, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 28:16-20 (Part 1)

Jesus Gives the Great Commission

 

This week, I will have to take another one of my business trips to California as part my routine in my secular job. Every other month, I have to visit the main office of my company in Santa Clara, CA for the bi-monthly management team meeting. Normally, I am out there for two days on the ground sandwiched between two days of travel. It is a whirlwind time of travel and meetings and travel again. However, this week will be different. My wife will be flying out to meet me on Thursday as I end my time at the Santa Clara office so that we can have a long weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will be the first time that she has been back to the Bay Area since we moved back to South Carolina in 2010. It should be a good time reliving some of the memories that we had during our time living near the city by the bay. It kind of reminds of this situation where Jesus has gone ahead of the disciples to Galilee in this last passage of the Gospel of Matthew. As I will have gone ahead of Elena, I will in a sense be preparing for her arrival. I will be making plans for what to do when she gets out there with me. I will be taking care of the details. I will be preparing for to come to meet me at the appointed place. I will be making ready for her visit. In this passage, Jesus has gone ahead of the disciples to Galilee. What is so significant about that? Let’s read the passage at hand now:

 

 

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Here, today, we will focus on v. 16 as we walk through this final passage for a couple of days. As the angel had told the women at the tomb, Jesus was going to ahead of the disciples and that they should meet him in Galillee. This is not the first time that Jesus has mentioned going ahead of the disciples. In John 14:1-4, Jesus told the disciples these words:

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 

In each of these passages, Jesus is giving them assurance that He will be at their destination when they get there. Jesus is going to give them a big task to accomplish in this passage, but He has already gone ahead of them to blaze the trail. His three-year ministry was training for this moment – the final instructions. He has blazed the trail. He has shown them how to live, how to preach of God’s love and of His kingdom, how to lead others, and so on. He is not asking them to do in this passage anything that He has not already demonstrated to them Himself. So, here, in this passage, Jesus has not only gone ahead of them physically to Galilee but has been doing that metaphorically for three years. He has cut the path. He has done the daily hard work of raising them up as men of God for three years.

 

That is the takeaway for this morning. Jesus is always going ahead of us to prepare our path. As Jeremiah 29:11 promises us that God will make a way for us, that He has plans for us, that he wants to prosper us. Jesus will make a way for us. He has done all the hard work at the cross. He continues to look out for us daily. He goes ahead of us daily. All we must do is trust Him completely. We must give over every aspect of our lives to His leadership. When we do that, and it is not as easy as it sounds (with our fleshly sin-filled ways), He will always make a way for us. When we follow His leadership obediently, He will make a way for us because He has gone ahead of us. It is when we do not obey Jesus Christ that we get off path and get into trouble. When we go in the way that Jesus tells us to go, we will have assurance that everything in our path has already been cleared, already been defeated. So, let us go to Galilee and meet up with Jesus as the place He told us to go. He is already there waiting on us, preparing the place for us, doing the hard work to make our path straight. When Jesus commands us to come to Him, let us trust Him and follow directly in the path that He has blazed for us.

 

Amen and Amen.

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